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Earlier this year I vegetable dyed ribbons for the first time and shared the whole process here. This was such a neat project to try and I was so surprised with the different ways the fruits and vegetables dyed the fibres. As I have been sitting in my living room this week while I work, I look out my window and the tree just outside is turning the most incredible colours. I was inspired to give vegetable dye techniques a try again but using the fall leaves with hopes that maybe, just maybe, I could capture some of the beautiful tones! I have never made homemade plant dyes before but it was much the same as the vegetable dying process. I used a mixture of yellow, red, and orange leaves and the leaf dyed napkins came out the most lovely peach colour – so much more lovely than I expected and the pigment held really well!
As I mentioned in my previous post on vegetable dying (same technique as making plant dyes) this method works best using natural fibres. I love the look of rough linen napkins so using linen for this project was an easy choice for me. I purchased one yard of linen from the fabric store – this was enough for me to make 6 small napkins – about 10″ x 14″ big. Depending on how many napkins you would like to make and how big you would like them to be, the amount of fabric you require will differ. I love linen because it is so easy to cut and, if you are a bit rogue like me (heh), you can even tear it. Regardless of method, I like to leave the edges rough and slightly frayed. If it were your preference you could definitely stitch around the perimeter. Finally, regardless of what natural material you choose to use when experimenting with plant and vegetable dyes, make sure to wash it first so it is pre-shrunk and ready to be washed in the future. Alright, enough of this chit chat, here’s how you make leaf dyed linen napkins!
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